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Review of External Examining Arrangements

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) was commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in 2015 to conduct a Review of External Examining Arrangements in the UK.

The overall aims of the review were to:

  • Consider how the recommendations of the Finch Review to strengthen external examining arrangements in universities and colleges in the UK have been implemented across the sector three years on from publication of the review
  • Assess if the arrangements for external examining are fit for purpose now and looking ahead to the changing HE environment of 2025.

The objectives were:

  • to assess whether the recommendations of the Finch Review been implemented universally across the sector;
  • to assess the effectiveness of the external examining system in safeguarding standards and maintaining the confidence of stakeholders;
  • to consider whether in this changing HE environment – looking to 2025 – what if any further changes might be required to the external examining system if significantly more reliance were placed on it in revised future quality assessment arrangements;
  • to make recommendations for actions and their implementation where a need is identified.

The 'Review of External Examining Arrangements across the UK' was published by HEFCE and contributed to its revised 'operating model' for quality assessment in Higher Education in England.

Research team

  • Professor Sue Bloxham the Principal Investigator Emeritus Professor in the Research Institute for Professional Learning in Education (RIPLE) at the University of Cumbria
  • Professor Margaret Price Professor of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Business and Management at Oxford Brookes University
  • Professor Chris Rust Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at Oxford Brookes University
  • Dr John Craig Director (Academic Practice) at the HEA
  • Dr Geoff Stoakes Head of Research at the HEA

The materials published on this page were originally created by the Higher Education Academy.